Group tour – Maratua Atoll – October 2024

In October 2024, two weeks to Maratua Atoll: stays on Nabucco Island & Nunukan Island, diving and Jellyfish Lake excursion! Then on to the Orang Utans?
Travel period
October
Features
Boatdiving
Starting at
14 days from €2995,- p.p

Island hopping in the Maratua Atoll at Extra Divers

From Oct. 12 to Oct. 22, escape the daily grind and go island hopping in Indonesia! We start with 5 nights at Nunukan Island, followed by 5 nights at Nabucco, all on a full board basis. But that’s not all, as there is even the option to extend this diving vacation with a few extra days in the jungle, where you can spot orangutans and honey bears.

Diving in the Maratua Atoll

The diving in the Maratua Atoll is nothing short of spectacular. Thanks to the powerful currents, there is an abundance of food, resulting in an amazing variety of marine life. At Nabucco Island you can expect large schools of barracuda, various reef fish, sharks and manta rays. But the highlight is “The Channel” or“Big Fish Country,” one of the best dive sites in Borneo. Here you can not only admire large marine life, but also discover beautiful macro life. Diving at Nunukan Island Resort is equally fantastic and easy. You begin your adventure right on the resort’s house reef, where a steep wall offers new impressions every meter you dive. Whether you choose a gentle dive along the entire length of the reef or a boat dive to dive sites such as Sangalakki, Kakaban or Muaras.

Stay at Nunukan and Nabucco Island

The Nunukan Island Resort, offers the perfect balance of relaxation in beach bungalows and fantastic diving. Located at the southern tip of the Maratua Atoll on the island of Bakungan, this is a paradise for divers, peace seekers and nature lovers looking for an authentic island experience. The accommodation is built with materials typical of the environment and uses solar energy for hot water, thus respecting nature.

The Nabucco Island Resort is a small, intimate resort built harmoniously among the existing flora, without cutting down a single palm tree. The resort is committed to sustainability with a water treatment plant and rainwater harvesting. Here you can enjoy rare coconut crabs, lizards, kingfishers and more, all in a beautiful, eco-friendly environment.

A diving vacation in October

In October, Indonesia’s Maratua Atoll offers divers a pleasant tropical climate. The air temperature fluctuates around 30-32°C during the day and 26-28°C at night. Water temperatures range from 27-28°C. 

A highlight of October? Between June and September, green sea turtles lay their eggs on Nunukan beach and they hatch 60 days later. This means that with any luck, we will experience hatching at Nunukan! Thresher sharks are seen year-round and manta rays between August and the end of the year…. 

Lots of vacation days left? Then glue a few days of Borneo Jungle to this trip (you’re there anyway) or even combine it with this Group Tour starting Oct. 31 in Ambon, Indonesia and ending Nov. 12 in Raja Ampat: Emperor Raja Laut – Banda Sea & Raja Ampat. This group trip is also guided by Rianne and she is happy to tell you more about combining both dive trips.

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Average Temperatures

Wetsuit advice for Maratua Atoll – Indonesia

Throughout the year, the water temperature is between 27℃ & 28℃. A 3mm full wetsuit will then suffice in most cases.

Tour guide: Rianne Poessé

This dive vacation is led by Rianne, co-owner of EWDR. Rianne, also known as the Dutch Mermaid, is a PADI Divemaster and with already about 1,000 dives in the pocket – a fairly experienced diver. She prefers to dive with her camera and video lights so she can capture as much of the underwater world as possible. For the past two years at the ONK, Rianne won first prize in the Reels category. Should you want to learn more about making reels and videos – this is your chance!

What will you experience on this diving vacation?

View itinerary here

October 10 & 11 | The trip to Balikpapan

We plan to arrive in Balikpapan no later than Oct. 11. From Europe there is a favorable connection where you can fly via Singapore directly to Balikpapan, with any luck we will catch this flight. On Oct. 11, we will stay one night at the Four Points by Sheraton so that we can travel the last bit rested the next day.

Oct. 12 | Flight to Berau and transfer to Nunukan Island

Today is the day! You will take a short flight from Balikpapan to Berau. From there we will be taken to the boat that will take us to the beautiful Nunukan Island Resort. This will be your home for the next 5 nights.

After checking in, take your time to unpack your gear and meet the friendly people at the dive center. You will have every opportunity to relax and explore the island at your own pace. If you feel like it, you can also book a relaxing massage or do some snorkeling around the jetty to get your first glimpse of Maratua’s underwater world.

Oct. 13 | Diving on the house reef at Nunukan Island

Diving on Nunukan’s house reef is nothing short of amazing, which is why we are going to make as many as 3 dives there. That way we also get used to our diving equipment again…. You may be thinking, “Why would I do three dives in the same place?” But the variety and vastness of the house reef are so impressive that it’s just a must! You have the option of reaching the house reef by boat and can choose where you want to descend around the island. After your dive, a short “shuttle” is waiting for you to take you back to the pristine, pearly white sand beach.

Oct. 14 | Day trip to Sangalaki & Kakaban

Today another 3 dives are scheduled. This time at the Sangalaki and Kakaban dive sites. These are both islands that are about a 45-minute boat ride away from Nunukan. Sangalaki is known for its rich marine life, including manta rays that float elegantly through the water. Kakaban offers a unique opportunity to swim AND snorkel in Jellyfish Lake, where you will be surrounded by “friendly” jellyfish. You reach this Jellyfish Lake after a short hike. If you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of a rare thresher shark in the sea around Kakaban.

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Oct. 15 | Half-day trip to Muaras

Today, two exciting dives are scheduled at Muaras Atoll, where you will have the chance to spot thresher sharks. This unique shark species is known for its slender, striped appearance and is often seen at depths between 30 and 70 meters. Fox sharks are peaceful creatures, so an encounter with them is really cool. Observing their movements and unique characteristics is truly an experience you don’t want to miss.

Oct. 16 & 17 | Local diving at Nunukan and transfer to Nabucco Island

Two more beautiful dives on Nunukan’s house reef are scheduled for Oct. 16, followed by a relaxing afternoon. If you just can’t get enough of diving, you even have the option of booking an additional dive. Nunukan’s house reef offers a wealth of biodiversity, ranging from tiny macro-wonders to schools of colorful fish and vibrant coral gardens. The underwater walls are decorated with both soft and hard coral, and the varied topography includes walls, canyons, caves and areas of reddish plate-like algae.

On Oct. 17, at our leisure, after breakfast, we headed by boat to our next accommodation Nabucco Island. It is about a 20-minute boat ride to the north. Arriving in Nabuccco, we checked in and spent the afternoon taking another dive somewhere nearby. The real action begins again tomorrow.

Oct. 18 to 21 - Diving around Nabucco

The next 4 days are completely devoted to diving at Nabucco and the Maratua Atoll. Led by Martin and Friska, several boat dives per day are offered, to as many as 25 different dive sites. In small groups of up to 6 divers per guide, you can fully experience the diversity of the underwater world here. You’ll discover everything from tiny, spectacular sea creatures to impressive reef channels with powerful currents, where sharks and manta rays swim majestically.

One of the absolute highlights is “Big Fish Country,” a reef channel with strong currents that is only a five-minute boat ride from Nabucco. This spot is known for its large schools of barracudas and sharks and is especially spectacular during rising tides.

October 22 | Return to Berau

After 11 days of island hopping, varied diving and relaxing with your feet in the white sand, this fantastic diving vacation unfortunately comes to an end. But the good news is that your adventure is far from over! Our next stop is the Jungle of Borneo!

By speedboat we are taken from Nabucco to the mainland.

We check into a hotel in Berau where we will stay for the next two nights. Tomorrow a long but fantastic jungle excursion is scheduled. Since we don’t keep hopping from hotel to hotel, we can leave our diving equipment and other luggage comfortably at the hotel while we explore Borneo – luggage-free.

Oct. 23 | Benua baru dayak village & merasa orang-utang jungle trek

Today begins with breakfast at the hotel, followed by a transfer of about an hour by car to the Dayak Kayan village in Benua Baru. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed with a Dayak ceremony and have the chance to explore the extraordinary Dayak art of Benua Baru, with vibrant designs and sculptures that show influences of Chinese and Vietnamese Dong Son, along with the distinctive geometric patterns depicting jungle scenes. You will also meet one of the last representatives of Dayak culture, a woman with long ears and tattoos.

You will then continue to the Merasa village along the Lesan River, where you will take a motor canoe for a 2-hour cruise upstream. During the cruise you can enjoy the beautiful scenery along the river, with lowlands and imposing dipterocarps trees signaling that you are approaching the jungles of Borneo. Along the way, you can spot various wildlife such as otters, monkeys and different bird species. You will also visit Pulau Bawan, also known as the Orangutan Island in the Lesan River. Then there is a short jungle trek, depending on terrain conditions, with the possibility of visiting a waterfall, ancient Dayak tombs and limestone cave.

In the late afternoon, return by canoe to Merasa village and continue the journey by car for about two hours to your hotel in Berau. Along the way, lunch and dinner will be provided at local restaurants, and you will stay overnight at the same hotel in Berau as the previous night.

October 24 to 26 | Back home

On Oct. 24, you will fly from Berau to Balikpapan. Because the flights often don’t connect so nicely, stay another night at the Four Points at Sheraton.

Then get on a plane back home on Oct. 25. Given the flight duration and time zones, arrive home on Oct. 26.

Vacation days left over? Then don’t fly home but extend your adventure with the Banda Sea & Raja Ampat group trip starting Oct. 31 from Ambon – you’re pretty close 😉

The dive resorts on this dive vacation

The stay and surroundings

Nunukan Island Resort

The Nunukan Island Resort, opened in August 2008, offers the perfect blend of relaxation and adventure on an enchanting island on the east coast of Kalimantan, located on the southern tip of the Maratua Atoll on Bakungan Island. This resort is ideal for divers, peace seekers and nature lovers looking for a unique nature experience in stylish accommodation. With 22 comfortable and spacious bungalows right on the white sandy beach, equipped with amenities such as air conditioning, a safe, minibar, mosquito net and a terrace with a deck chair for relaxation, the resort offers comfort and beautiful sea views. You can opt for half board or full board with delicious meals at the restaurant, which serves both Asian and European delicacies. At EWDR, we have selected full board by default. The resort also features a dive center, an Internet corner, a small store and Wi-Fi for guests. The resort’s unique design is inspired by its surroundings, and solar energy is used to heat water.

Nabucco Island Resort

Located on a remote island near Kalimantan, Nabucco Island Resort offers an idyllic retreat with 18 rooms in 12 bungalows, including oceanfront and garden view options. These eco-friendly accommodations are equipped with modern amenities such as air conditioning, refrigerator and terraces with sun beds. The resort offers half or full board with a variety of options, including a la carte breakfast and 3 & 4-course dinners featuring local and international dishes. Guests can enjoy activities such as beach volleyball, snorkeling, and scuba diving, while relaxation is offered with massages and a unique sunset bar. Payment can be made in euros and dollars, and free Wi-Fi is available downtown.

Travel costs

What is included

This dive vacation to Nunukan Island Resort & Nabucco Island Resort is available from €2995 per person based on two people in one room. Are you staying in a room by yourself? Then there is a surcharge of about €650,- The diving trip can be expanded as desired. A number of things are included by default in this travel package.

Prices are subject to price changes, increases or changing exchange rates. Flights are always based on the cheapest possible booking class.

Want to know more about this diving vacation to Indonesia? Get in touch with us!

Included in this diving trip, from €2995,- p.p.
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Frequently asked questions about this diving vacation

Diving in Maratua, Nabucco and Nunukan general information

Both resorts offer boat dives.

At Nunukan you dive on the beautiful house reef or take trips to places like Sangalaki, Kakaban or Muaras.

At Nabucco, you dive around Maratua and Nabucco itself.

Nunukan: Most of them less than 5 minutes. Sangalaki/Kakaban about 45 minutes.

Nabucco: More than 20 local dive sites near the Maratua atoll can be reached within 5 to 20 minutes from the island. To reach Kakaban/Sangalaki (day trip), the boat ride takes about 45 to 60 minutes.

Extra Divers offers 3 dives per day, usually single dives where you return after each dive, sometimes half-day trips (2 dives) and day trips (3 dives), plus early morning dives, twilight dives and night dives on request.

Yes, you can do this at both resorts.

At Nunukan, they do.

Yes, several SSI diving courses are offered. You can learn to dive or specialize here. During this group trip, however, this is less suitable.

For both resorts, the diving school is on-site.

Diving equipment

DIN with INT inserts available

Yes, these cost €4 per day

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We are EWDR

Afbeelding van Rianne, mede-eigenaar van EWDR